Over the past three and a half decades, Primal Scream have embraced everything from psychedelic pop to degenerate rock’n’roll; euphoric rave to industrial gloom. They have made records with George Clinton and Kate Moss, invited Mani of the Stone Roses and Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine into the fold, survived narcotic oblivion, personal trauma and the death of beloved guitarist Robert “Throb” Young, and captured the mood of the nation several times over. Throughout it all, they have always sounded like Primal Scream. And they have always made great singles.
From their psychedelic roots to the era-defining hedonism of ‘Screamadelica’ through to the sonic attack of ‘XTRMNTR’ and beyond, the eclectic nature of Primal Scream has been matched by the sheer consistency of their singles and they have become part of Britain’s musical heritage.
Now Primal Scream compile one of the great singles discographies into one expansive collection with ‘Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll: The Singles’, which will be released on May 24th via Sony.
“Right from our 1985 debut All Fall Down onward we’ve approached singles as an aesthetic choice, a statement of where we are as a band,” says Bobby Gillespie. “We grew up with Suffragette City and Metal Guru flying out of the radio. The four Sex Pistols singles were great. Public Image by PiL sounded like nothing else. Prince and Madonna made amazing hits. That has been our approach. I’ve always loved Top 40 pop radio, I love greatest hits albums like The Who’s Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy. I remember Alan McGee saying of Higher Than The Sun: it won’t be a hit, but it will be a statement. Great singles can get out into the world and show people an alternative way of thinking. They make you feel less alone.”
Opening with the jangly melodic rush of ‘Velocity Girl’, ‘Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll: The Singles’ is a celebration of a vital catalogue of songs from a band who have always pushed the boundaries of their sound. There’s rock ‘n’ roll infused with gospel and soul in ‘Movin’ On Up’, the Stonesy strut of ‘Rocks’ and industrial-funk in the shape of ‘Kill All Hippies’. And that freewheeling attitude never stopped, as evidenced by the anthemic garage-rock meets vintage R&B of ‘Country Girl’ and the creativity of the songs taken from their most recent album, 2016’s ‘Chaosmosis’.